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Superstar and your tax dollars

A photo of a sign in the State

A photo of a sign in the State Supreme Court building in Mineola. Credit: Point reader

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Daily Point

Cuomo’s curtain call

Just call him Andrew Cuomo Superstar.

Glowing reviews poured in Monday for the live version of “Jesus Christ Superstar” on NBC Sunday night. But John Legend, who played Jesus, wasn’t the only one to take a bow on the stage of the Marcy Avenue Armory in Brooklyn. At the end of the credits, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo got his moment to shine, too.

“Filmed With the Support of the New York State Governor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development,” one of the last credits said as the TV screen showed Legend enjoying the last moments of the broadcast with castmates.

No, Cuomo didn’t play the flamboyant King Herod — that honor belonged to Alice Cooper. And he wasn’t the domineering Pontius Pilate in the Andrew Lloyd Webber rock opera, either, though Cuomo has — verbally — flogged his share of opponents to, as Pilate says, “keep you vultures happy.”

Instead, Cuomo worked behind the scenes. The armory is a state facility, an Empire State Development spokeswoman told The Point. And the production applied for tax credits, but the exact value won’t be determined until “receipts” are submitted and audited, she said. Of course, that’s a bit controversial, since a live television show isn’t a big revenue generator for the state, though the spokeswoman noted that the production was expected to generate “several hundred hires.”

Surprisingly, though, there was no big publicity push from the governor about the part the state played, either before the live production began, or after it met with plenty of, well, buzz.

But even if his role was small, unseen on the enormous armory stage, Cuomo can reap the benefits. As he ramps up his campaign for re-election, with actress Cynthia Nixon as a primary opponent, Cuomo could create his own showstopping-number campaign ad by lining up some “Superstar” power of his own, with lines sung by Sara Bareilles: “Everything’s alright, yes, everything’s fine”; Brandon Victor Dixon: “Who’d you think, beside yourself, was the pick of the crop?”; and, yes, Alice Cooper: “You are all we talk about, the wonder of the year!”

Randi F. Marshall

Talking Point

Sign of the times

A Point reader doing time as a prospective juror in Nassau County last week sent The Point a photo of a sign in the State Supreme Court building in Mineola, which the state leases from the county. A rather worn wooden sign, with a Chippendale furniture top, still listed Edward P. Mangano as the county executive.

“It’s been three months, I don’t understand,” our eagle-eyed subscriber complained to us.

The Point on Monday contacted Dan Bagnola, the longtime spokesman for state courts in Nassau County. He said it is the county’s responsibility to put up and replace such signs.

Regardless of whose sign it is, Bagnola said the incorrect information shouldn’t be there. Mangano’s name was removed about 10 minutes after our inquiry. But like everything else in government, it’s not so simple to solve problems.

Peeling off the Mangano nameplate, circa 2009, revealed it had been glued over the identity of his predecessor, Thomas R. Suozzi, whose name had been painted on the sign. A four-inch piece of industrial tape remedied that problem.

Next up, The Point asked the administration of the present county executive, Laura Curran, who has gone to great lengths to say she will not put her name on any signs, what it will do about the courthouse sign. Spokesman Mike Martino said a work order is out to remove the sign entirely and the expected holes in the limestone wall will be covered with the county seal. “We will fix it so no one else has to deal with this again,” said Martino.

Meanwhile, Mangano is still a big name in another courthouse — this one in Central Islip, where he is on trial on public corruption charges. That’s the federal courthouse where former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato’s name is carved in stone.

Rita Ciolli

Pencil Point

Not my census

Click here to read our weekend editorial on census politics.

Quick Points

April’s fools

  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says he doesn’t see how EPA head Scott Pruitt survives his latest ethical scandal involving renting a Washington condo at below-market rates from the wife of an energy lobbyist. Never have so many people so badly wanted Christie to be correct.
  • Conservative writer and early Donald Trump supporter Ann Coulter, commenting on his unfulfilled immigration campaign promises, said the president is a “shallow, lazy ignoramus.” Two years too late.
  • President Donald Trump saying that the U.S. Postal Service is losing money on its Amazon contract offers a lesson in the rules of debate: There’s a difference between making an argument and telling a lie.
  • Rep. Tom Suozzi, one of dozens of people who sent letters to a federal judge urging leniency in the sentencing of former North Hempstead Town Democratic chairman Gerard Terry, wrote of Terry’s “rare skill set” and the “public humiliation” he’s suffered. Left unsaid: Terry was skilled enough to avoid paying taxes for 16 years and was not humiliated until he was caught.
  • Rep. Trey Gowdy commented on House and Senate probes of Russia by saying, “Congress has proved itself incapable of conducting serious investigations.” He did not comment on whether his own House Select Committee on Benghazi was part of that history.
  • The Trump administration got rid of the “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson” link on the State Department’s homepage faster than it scrubbed “climate change” from federal websites. Now there’s a measure for the president’s fondness for Tillerson.
  • Leaving Syria would be the worst decision President Donald Trump could make, said Sen. Lindsay Graham, suffering a deficit of imagination.

Michael Dobie

Columns